Transformational power of the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, GA, USA

Transformational power* of the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, GA, USA!

INSPIRING remarks from

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s attorney daughter, I drew this conclusion:  humans have a choice:  peace or extinction.  She received a prolonged, standing ovation.

Bill Gates:  When The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new pledge of millions more in “$2-for-$1 matching” dollars to End Polio Now, Bill said that as important as the dollars are (to end polio), the most important assets are the Rotarians & friends of Rotarians who go into & throughout the most dangerous countries to administer the vaccine & thus prevent a crippling, potentially life-diminishing, preventable disease.  A photo of an almost completely covered Pakistani woman was displayed at that point.  The photo could also have been of our beloved Judy & John Hutcherson.

The CEO of Coca-Cola mentioned Coke’s three international priorities:  water, women & communities.  Water:  because Coca-Cola uses so much of it, so they’re ever watchful to be thoughtful stewards of the resource;  women:  because women who are encouraged to become entrepreneurs can change the world for the better; & communities – to help them thrive … which also helps Coca-Cola financially prosper as well.   As a direct result of his presentation, today I actually passed over “my” drink-of-choice:  diet Mt. Dew & purchased a diet Coke instead.

Andrew Young — as wise as he was humorous.  He marched next to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King during the 1960s & concluded that much of the civil rights progress in the US was in direct response to businesses’ understanding the financial importance of our brothers & sisters of color. — & that the more they prospered, the more everyone prospered.  Although Young was trained to be humble, he chuckled that it’s hard to be humble when Atlanta named a street in his honor.

PERSONAL THRILLS:  I met a PDG who is in the hometown of my best friend (he just doesn’t yet know it) Dr. Pol – the naturally hilarious, kind, 70-ish-year-old  veterinarian in a National Geographic TV network series.  She promised to give my business card to him & to tell him “Hi” from his ardent “fan:”  me.  He’s an Honorary Rotarian in Mt. Pleasant, MI; a Paul Harris Fellow & regularly invited speaker at Rotary clubs & other Rotary events).

I got to see a woman from India donate $1M to End Polio Now.  What I was sputtering about her generosity, someone said that this is the 5th time she’s donated $1M!

I accidentally got seated next to an incoming trustee for The Rotary Foundation.  After everyone at the table introduced ourselves, she said, “Do you remember that we already know each other?”  Oh, my:  I was clueless & embarrassed not to have recognized her.  She was the RI President’s Representative who came to FBG when we dedicated the Skate Park & inducted 5 new members – the stunning visitor who wore a straw hat.  And there she was again … serendipitously seated next to me.  As you may know, during her time in our Rotary district, she & incoming DG Carol Holmes became best friends.

In the AKS lounge (a quiet, light-refreshment area for donors of $250,000 & more), I met a new friend from Kansas City, KS.  We both vividly remembered the year (1962) when my Wichita (KS) East High School won the state basketball championship by having defeated his Wyandotte High School, the almost perpetual state basketball champion.  Small world.  Also, my “true love” boyfriend & I broke up that night. <sigh>

I met in person, the wonderful Rotarian in India whose project our club just donated $2.5K to – the artificial limb project.  He was so excited & grateful to hear about our donation.  And I got to meet both the leader & his brother – who oversee the girls’ toilet blocks project in India — we just donated $2.5K to.  Not only is the project helping girls AND boys stay in school (“prosperity insurance,” as I see it), they are helping families with sustainable, entrepreneurial projects & teaching hygiene / cleanliness habits to families.  Bottom line:  the project is growing & expanding.

I met a Rotarian from WI who told me about “at large” Peace Scholars (maybe that was the status of our Peace scholar Ghada & her connection with our district – not sure).  Anyway club(s) &/or district(s) may annually request (from The Rotary Foundation) an at large Peace Scholar at no charge to our club.  It would be the role of someone within our club to mentor the prospective scholar through the application process:  “easy if the applicant is proficient in English … more time-consuming if the student isn’t quite so proficient.”  If our board is interested, I’d be glad to share her contact information with the our club’s designee — for further information.

*  my transformational vision:  I eternally compound my exponential relevance … in fulfillment of Eternal Divine Light’s Highest Destiny purposes for ALL.

 

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